“Falling on your Feet” is a dance programme for over 65s designed to counter social isolation and a fear of falling to reduce admissions to hospitals and care homes in the long term.
Participants co-choreograph a piece of work over three months with a practising artist in a neighbourhood centre. They have fun, get fit – and it’s all for free thanks to an innovation grant from Newcastle/Gateshead CCG NHS.
“Falling on your Feet” is a Helix Arts production with choreographer Nadia Iftkhar.
Northumbria University is supporting Helix Arts programme evaluation.
Find out more – www.helixarts.com
Equal Arts is a creative ageing charity providing creative opportunities for older people.
Working with a team of artists the charity runs a number of projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of those living with dementia and older people.
They also train care setting staff and artists about the benefits creative care can have for residents.
Equal Arts projects include:
Find out more – www.equalarts.org.uk
This guide book looks at ‘How to make a Sensory Room for people living with dementia’. Published online, it gives advice on how to set up multisensory spaces tailored towards the needs of people with dementia. It aims to be a tool for health care practitioners, care home staff and carers, enabling them to create sensory environments appropriate and suitable for care home residents and their families.
Find out more – www.kingston.ac.uk/sensoryroom
Using memories of sport to engage older people in conversation and reminiscence, the network engages with volunteers across communities to establish social groups in a wide variety of settings.
Following an initial pilot project involving 15 care homes in Leeds, the approach has been rolled out across cities and counties to engage with people over the age of 55, particularly those who may have memory problems, dementia, depression or are at risk of being socially isolated. Partners involved in current projects include professional sports clubs, adult social care providers, NHS Wards, Care Homes, libraries, museums and pubs.
In addition to promoting and improving mental well-being through reminiscence, the local projects also raise awareness of conditions such as dementia across communities and generations.
Siel Bleu provides exercise classes in care homes to more than 70,000 people in France, Ireland and Belgium.
They have been facilitating both personalised and group sessions for individuals, community groups and residential homes since 1997 in more than 2,000 care homes. Their aim is not only to improve people’s health but to enhance independence, autonomy and
socialisation through group participation.
For more information see: http://sielbleu.ie/
For a similar service in the UK see Oomph Wellness Limited
Hospital Foodie is a nutrition application that can be used in hospitals to accurately monitor patients’ food and nutrient intake. It was created to help overcome the shortcomings of current nutrition provision for the elderly in hospitals.
It works by;
1. Screening patients on admission to hospital to identify any nutritional deficits and calculate their daily requirements.
2. Accurately monitoring food and nutrient intake-at the event of a shortfall hospital staff will be alerted.
3. Individual preferences are taken into account. For example; rather than providing everyone with three meals per day there is the option to have smaller ‘mini meals’ provided at a time that suits the patients and their treatment.
4. A follow up nutritional report is created to help the patient maintain optimum nutrition and improve their recovery following discharge from hospital.
For more information see; http://www.hospitalfoodie.com/It is hoped that hospital foodie will help drive a higher standard of nutrition both within hospital and after hospital admission improving the health and wellbeing of elderly patients.
Zilta is a free app for smartphones and tablets built to simplify their content and to make it easier for people to use technology to connect with their loved ones. It’s designed to work for people of all ages, but is especially useful for older persons or those with less experience with technology.
Zilta believe that gadgets such as smartphones and tablets have become too complicated for everyday use and so they have taken out all the clutter and left only the most valuable features such as photo sharing, video calls, emails and music. Therefore making these gadgets accessible and easy to use for anyone regardless of their technical skills.
Changing Lives in Cornwall is a partnership of voluntary groups and state services providing schemes like; Steady On (provides ‘buddies’ to help older adults with balance issues); Get Well Stay Well (a support service for those returning home after a stay in hospital) and
Memory Café (a place for those who suffer from or care for older adults with dementia).
This holistic approach to local service provision is working well. And older people aren’t just the recipients of services; they also get involved in providing support.
For more information see: http://www.volunteercornwall.org.uk/changing-lives/
You can watch the video of how Changing Lives can be found
Knit for peace supports and creates knitting groups in a variety of locations within areas of deprivation that can benefit from bringing communities together (e.g. community groups, prisons, schools).
On top of being an enjoyable and therapeutic activity, knitting has previously been linked with a number of positive outcomes such as lowered blood pressure, improved chronic pain, decreasing depression and offsetting social isolation (see Stitchlinks and Dr Benson of the Harvard Medical School).
As well as bringing people and communities together Knit for Peace also gives group members the opportunity to help others in need by linking them with charities that work directly with those benefitting from kitted items (e.g. at risk older adults, refugee camps in Africa, hospitals, homeless shelters, animal homes) and keeping the knitters updated on where their items go.
For more information see: http://www.knitforpeace.org.uk/